Developer: Bitty
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

dice² feels like a gambling game without any money on the line. It’s got a pretty clever, addictive hook and rewards smart thinking. Ultimately, however, it’s too simple to consider a safe bet.

The goal in dice² is to score as many points as possible by arranging dice on a 5×5 grid. Players can hold four dice at a time and whenever they place one down, they can replenish their supply. There are a limited number of rerolls though so sometimes it’s better to make do with the dice one has before asking for any more. Players earn points by arranging dice vertically and horizontally in a variety of different combos from high and low straights to all of a kind. The end result plays like a cross between poker, solitaire and dominoes. Also, like most games of chance, while strategic thinking is definitely worthwhile, it can only get a player so far. Sheer luck trumps all.

However, aside from requiring a ton of dice, dice² could probably be played in real life for real money and the game does little to justify why this admittedly fun but small distraction warrants a full price tag. From the bland visuals to the forgettable music there is no presentational flair. The only other features are a short achievements list and a personal leaderboard. Worst of all, the act of moving and placing dice, the one way players interact with the game, feels slow and overly sticky. To be fair, it’s not the kind of game where split-second precision is needed but one would expect that a game so basic would at least be able to offer polished controls.

It sounds harsh to say but dice² might have honestly been better if it was free and had an ad or two in one of its barren pink borders. Good fundamentals are appreciated but even diversions need a little fleshing out.

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